Training Resistant Employees

Training Resistant Employees

Do you build your training programs with resistant employees in mind? If not, you’re in the right place to learn how to alter your training so that you get the people who have checked-out checked back in!

Training Resistant Employees: Where to Begin?

Some employees have been in their job for such a long time that they may be described as “stuck in their ways” or “not going to change“. Teller, supervisor, account manager: it doesn’t matter what role or job the employee is in. When your training efforts hit the armor of a resistant trainee, it doesn’t feel good.

Tip 1: Clearly State Goals

No matter the topic or people you are training, the crucial question you always need to answer first¬† is “What is the purpose of the training?” Really think about it and write down the answer.

This question can perhaps more easily be answered by asking yourself some more targeted questions such as:

  • What are the expected outcomes of the training?
  • Is the training intended to prevent problems or correct problems?
  • Does it prepare the employee to change a habit?
  • Is the training intended to introduce something new?
  • Does the training involve learning a new skill?

Based on your answers, your overall objective could sound something like this: “The point of the training is to increase efficiency, reduce errors, and improve the understanding of the check-cashing process.”¬†

Tip 2: Consider the Learner’s Perspective

Now that you’ve clearly defined the purpose of the training, it’s time to communicate the value and objectives of the training from the learner’s perspective. You should always assume people want to excel on the job, even if you’re dealing with resistant learners.

Tip 3: Optimize the Content

Employees are often resistant to training because they don’t feel the training is focused on the learner. You can overcome this resistance by developing training programs that are purposeful and focused. So the next question to ask yourself is: “What content is needed to support the training goals?” If the goal is to increase efficiency, reduce errors, and improve understanding of the check-cashing process, what information should you present to reach that goal? As you develop your training program, pause frequently to ask yourself if the material is relevant to achieve your training objectives.

Tip 4: Appropriate Delivery

Sometimes, even if they find the training helpful, employees are resistant to training because the training session eats up a lot of time. Don’t assume a classic classroom is always the best way to train. Perhaps the resistance is to the logistics or ineffective training method and not the actual learning. Be open to one-on-one or virtual training as valid alternatives.

Also ask yourself: “how will I make this training experience memorable?” It is always a good idea to scan your training program for opportunities to keep the learners involved through exercises, activities, or by giving them training tools, such as a quick reference guide.

Tip 5: Learning Assessment

How will you know if trainees have learned the content? How can you tell if learner resistance is reduced? A great idea is to ask participants to answer these two questions on your evaluation form:

  • Name one thing you really enjoyed
  • Name one thing we can do better

The feedback you will get from this is often much more valuable than a “rate my performance” score.

Tip 6: Provide Support

Do you plan what happens after training? Don’t think the training is over after the evaluations are done! Think about how you can provide additional support for the trainee. This shows them that you are invested in their success and aren’t trying to waste their time. Provide additional information, experience, or discussions if you notice your goals aren’t met after the initial training.

A golden tip is to involve the employee’s direct supervisor in ensuring the employee everyone is committed to their success. Reinforcement should continue until the trainee displays mastery of the task or information.

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Looking for more help with training resistant employees? Join us at our Train the Trainer Boot Camp, talk to us at the Bank Trainers Conference, or register for this upcoming webinar: 15 Reasons Training Doesn’t Stick.